Aspen’s Gorsuch, Bleiler headed to Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame in 2019 class
The Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame will grow by two Aspenites in October when Jeff Gorsuch and Gretchen Bleiler are officially inducted into its 2019 class. The organization and museum, based out of Vail, announced this year’s class on Friday.
The duo join a list of no less than 40 Aspen locals who already are in the snowsports hall of fame. Notable names include Bob Beattie, Chris Davenport, Chris Klug, Klaus Obermeyer and Spyder Sabich, among many others.
Gorsuch, who will go in as a “sports builder,” has run his family’s retail business for 25 years. A former ski racer himself, his philanthropy has long been felt throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, especially through his work with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.
“He is a huge part of what we do, right from the outreach and the equipment that he donates to give kids the opportunity to ski,” said Mark Godomsky, AVSC’s executive director. “Just an unbelievable community member and supporter of AVSC. I would guess there is nobody in Colorado supporting kids to get involved with skiing to the level that Jeff and his family are.”
Bleiler is one of the most accomplished snowboarders in American history. Competing in the halfpipe, she won four X Games gold medals and won Olympic silver at the 2006 Games in Italy. Since retiring in 2014, Bleiler has continued to be an Aspen fixture with many entrepreneurial and advocacy interests, including her work with Protect Our Winters.
“It just goes back to the tradition of this club,” Godomsky said. “It may be 2,600 kids that goes from beginners to Olympians, but over the course of time we have produced some of the best in the country and this is just another testament with Gretchen getting into the hall of fame. She came through the program.”
The rest of the 2019 hall of fame class includes Martin Hart of Steamboat Springs and Steve Raymond, who co-founded the Adaptive Spirit program and was a major fundraiser for the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team. Winter Park’s Jake Hoeschler will also enter as the 2019 Pioneer Hall of Fame selection.
The official induction ceremony will be held Oct. 26 in Vail.
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In his bid to complete all 14 of the fourteeners that make up Nolan’s 14, Sean Van Horn climbed 43,225 feet over 92.8 miles in 45 hours, 57 minutes.